Monday, January 25, 2010

Daily freeman: Comptroller Auerbach, Change We Can Believe In

Change” long has been the buzzword in political campaigns. You know what we mean: “It’s time for a change” or some variation is what you hear virtually non-stop — including lately from the millions who already want a “change” from the “change” on which Barack Obama won the presidency.

It’s no different locally, where Ulster County voters opted to “change” their form of government in order to establish the offices of county executive and comptroller, thus producing a “change” in its culture and operation.

And “change” is what we’re getting, including the necessary and refreshing concept of independent investigations by the county comptroller, Ulster’s elected fiscal watchdog.

Predictably, Comptroller Elliott Auerbach has felt some pushback from those on whose toes his office’s investigations have stepped.

“We are the people’s independent watchdog,” Auerbach told the Ulster County Chamber of Commerce last week.

Yes, you are.

Democrat Auerbach narrowly won election over Republican James Quigley in November 2008 in a contest of two strong candidates. But that’s not to suggest the comptroller’s investigatory mission would have been different had the no-nonsense Quigley — who is now supervisor of the town of Ulster — won.

“Why shouldn’t we demand from government what we demand from businesses and ourselves?,” Auerbach said to Chamber.

We shouldn’t.

“The office of the comptroller is the fiscal and moral conscience of Ulster County,” said Auerbach. “We establish the standards by which Ulster government is to be managed.”

At a time when every penny counts, investigations like the comptroller’s that expose fully paid, no-show legislators are to be cheered. So, too, are those probes that reveal other inefficiencies in government.

Auerbach pledged his office will “continue to look behind the curtain of government, illuminate its doings and continue to ensure its transparency.”

That’s the kind of “change” to applaud.


Anonymous said...

Change we can believe in didn't work out so good for us last time.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Obama

Anonymous said...

Great turnout for his Kingston fundraiser. Good positive energy with a unified Democratic leadership on board.

Anonymous said...

Auerbach will fuck up eventually just like his did in the past. We're optomistic, though.

"L" 4-Block